Solving The Orientation Paradox
What we want and what we need are often not the same thing. And often, we stand in front of crossroads, wondering what road to follow next. This is specifically true in the case of choosing a major. Whether you are a fresh high school graduate or a Bachelor’s degree holder, it is daunting to make the decision that determines your entire future. While some majors are more promising in terms of career growth, they don’t necessarily correspond to what we truly want. Between what the job market requires and what we want lies generally big differences. So, how are we to solve this paradox?
Some students usually do their research online, exploring options of majors and careers, and attempting to reach a final settlement. Others attend forums and webinars, and try to gather information from students who have once been at a similar crossroads. Only when data is collected, and the student knows as many paths as possible, does the hard part occur. Now that the student knows the options ahead, things get tricky. We often come across cases where a student would want to have a career in fashion for example, but it just so happens that computer science is (according to people) a more rewarding road to go down. Grab a pen and make a list, try answering these questions, and let them guide you in solving this paradox.
Yes, this is the first point to ponder over. There is a correlation between these three things that gives way to decision-making. Job demand and salary level are condemned by these three things. What is your priority? is a fundamental question to ask. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you get either a good salary or a good job, both things can go hand in hand. However, if you find yourself in the worst-case scenario where you have to select a single opportunity then you should only think about your priorities. Things that matter to you most and things you can overlook are to be highlighted before carrying on with a final settlement.
The choice of a major incites that of a career, the one we will be spending years building. Our ideas might change as we grow up. 20 years from now, would you look back at this particular choice and regret it or be thankful for it? Primarily, this is the question that sparks the course of choosing a major.
Because most people discover what they want in terms of careers when they start studying, a simple rule of thumb people follow is to pick a general major which opens more windows and a wider range of choices, and later opt for careers that better suit them.
Looking at it today, all jobs are employable yet none are. It is true that some majors are required more heavily in the job market and that more job vacancies are open for certain majors. Still, when it finally comes down to it, competence -in any field- is the main criterion.
Regardless of the career choice, it is vital that you have the required soft and hard skills, along with a level of proficiency that will allow you to excel in the job. In case entrepreneuring is not a scheme you’d like to draw, then employment rates vary from one job to another. This means that, whilst finding jobs in certain areas may be challenging, the hardest part is truly keeping it and thriving in it through hard work and aptitude.
Some jobs are slowly going extinct, while others have already vanished. Robots and machines are making their way into almost all disciplines, and many processes are nowadays automated. So yes, threats of robots taking over the world might as well be real. Nevertheless, some jobs will always need human hands and emotions, and these are the ones one ought to seek.
Studying for years only to discover that there is no use to your diploma is anticlimactic, to say the least. Accordingly, a quick search online would yield many jobs that are expected to no longer exist after the five upcoming years. So searching for what may no longer be required is a good place to start the elimination process of the various options.
Every student will get guidance to choose a major. Sadly, hearing various experiences and opinions gets overwhelming at times. As a matter of fact, it becomes almost impossible to detach our own voice from that of the countless people giving you advice based on their own experiences. At the end of the day, you are the only person who will live with this decision, so consider it carefully. As a result, simply ask yourself: What do you truly want?
Being talented in a certain field is a special gift and it is never thoughtless to follow a path in which you have potential no matter how illogical it may sound. The level of confidence you have in yourself and your field is crucial for the way you will execute your tasks in said field through the years. Do not rush your decision, and know that you can change it at any moment. Essentially, choosing a major, as important as it is, is not a permanent fixture in one’s life. Choose wisely, keep a backup plan, and take time to mull over your goals. And, rest assured, a major does not define you or fit you into a box, you create your own identity and that is your biggest asset.
Let us know in the comments what you chose for a major, or what you are considering for your future studies!